NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Nashville nonprofit hopes to raise $10 million for the restoration and preservation efforts of Second Avenue following the bombing on Christmas Day.
Janet Kurtz of 2ndAveStrong says they’ve raised $110,000 and have had a great response to the fund so far.
“Second Avenue is really our most historic area. The buildings date back to the 1870’s… it’s our tie to the river that actually made Nashville the city that it is today. These buildings are vitally important to the historic nature and identify of the city itself. The response has been wonderful.”
Kurtz says this will be a multi-year and multi-million dollar fund.
“We are reaching out to corporations and individuals. We are so excited that today we are just over 110,000 dollars. We have a long way to go but we have had a great response so far. Right now, it is still up in the air as to what this project is going to cost.”
The fund will go toward efforts that are not covered by insurance.
“The buildings themselves of course are insured… but we are really looking to make sure that we do an authentic restoration of these buildings. Recently, the fund helped support a company that are experts in conservation and history. By hand, they salvaged bricks from one building, collected, cataloged them and are now storing them until it’s time to completely restore the façade of that specific building that was damaged.”
Kurtz lives a block away from the bombing and her own home suffered minor damage. She says with so many visitors to the downtown area, their fundraising efforts are crucial.
“When visitors come to Nashville they see the character and the identity that this area has. So.. that just adds to their experience and to their visit. We have worked hard to light the trees on Second Avenue so there is a warm and welcoming vibe to the street.”
Kurtz told News 2 the outpouring of support to the fund from the community has been the best part of this.
“We are The Volunteer State for a reason. From Christmas Day on.. I received texts from neighbors, just the outpouring of support and kindness and heartfelt empathy that people have had for rebuilding and revitalizing this neighborhood is amazing.
Kurtz says neighbors are optimistic of the fund and what the future will bring.
“I think what I see on Second Avenue’s faces is hope and optimism that we are going to rebuild this and better than before. We have had donations come in from New York, Oregon, California… I feel like we are just getting started and I feel like it’s so wonderful to see that generosity.”
On Monday, 2ndAveStrong will launch the ‘Faces of Second Avenue’ on their social media pages, sharing the stories of those who have lived and who live on Second Avenue now.
Kurtz says this will be at least a two-year fund. If you would like to learn more or donate to the fund, click here.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.